Gut health is currently one of the hottest topics in nutrition and well being with various products such as sauerkraut, probiotic containing yogurt or fermented beverages such as komboucha claiming to be just what you need for gut health. While there is evidence to suggest that including these functional foods is warranted we have plenty of other simple nutrition advice to share when it comes to showing your gut some much needed love.
It is first important to understand why looking after your gut is important. We know that our gastrointestinal system, in particular, your large intestine or colon, contains millions of live bacteria species that contribute to your individual gut flora. We are only just beginning to understand the role of these bacteria in overall health and so far we know that they have a role in autoimmune disease, immunity, mental health and of course digestion! Like all living organisms, these bacteria need food to survive. Food for your gut bacteria are called prebiotics and are found in a variety of fibre containing foods including bananas, oats, onions, leeks and wheat bran.
As well as gut bacteria it is important that you keep your bowel motions soft and regular to avoid constipation. As well as including fibre containing foods such as fruit, vegetables, wholegrains and legumes it is also important to stay hydrated and perhaps increase your fluid intake. Here are some easy tips for increasing fibre in your diet:
In terms of upping your fluid intake:
90% of the sleep hormone, serotonin is made in your gut, this means what you eat is critical for sleep!
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